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[215]

Official report of General R. L. Gibson of the defence and fall of the Spanish Fort.

[From manuscript in our possession.]

Meridian, Miss., April 16, 1865.
Major D. W. Flowerree, Assistant Adjutant-General, District of the Gulf:
Major: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the forces under my command on the eastern shore of Mobile bay:

On the 23d of March, I was ordered by Major-General Maury, commanding District of the Gulf, to report with my brigade to Brigadier-General St. John Liddell, at Blakely, and by him directed to move towards Deer Park, near Fish river, and with two regiments of Holtzclaw's brigade, Colonel Bush. Jones commanding, and Colonel P. B. Spence's cavalry, to hold the enemy in observation. The following day I disposed these troops for this purpose, and early the next morning the enemy moved in force on the Durant road, towards Sibley's Mills, about two miles to the east, beyond Spanish Fort, in the direction of Blakely. I had selected a line of battle on the north side of D'Olive Creek, intending to dispute its passage and develop him, having already thrown my small cavalry force upon his flanks with orders to harrass him. At this point the Major-General commanding District of the Gulf came up to offer battle with his whole force; but in consequence of the rapid movement of the enemy to our left and rear, as above indicated, the larger portion of the troops were ordered to Blakely under Brigadier-General Liddell, and my instructions were to assume immediate command of the defences of Spanish Fort. Set apart for this purpose were Brigadier-General Bryan M. Thomas' brigade of Alabama Reserves, about nine hundred and fifty muskets strong; Colonel I. W. Patton's artillery, three hundred and sixty effectives; and my own brigade of five hundred rifles, Colonel F. L. Campbell commanding. Batteries Huger and Tracy likewise constituted a part of this general command; and the garrisons in them, under Major Wash. Marks, Twenty-second Louisiana Artillery, formed Patton's Artillery, but are not included in the above estimate; for though they-rendered valuable services,


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